This month, as many colleges and universities confer degrees upon students, notable Phi Beta Kappa members, such as Condoleezza Rice, Janet Napolitano, Janet Yellen and Peyton Manning, will be featured commencement speakers and attempt to entertain and advise graduates on how to navigate the uneven terrain of the post-graduate world.
What advice would you offer to graduates? Share your graduation advice and stories from your own commencement events on Phi Beta Kappa’s Facebook page.
Pictured: Diana Nyad, ΦBK, Lake Forest College, 1973, to deliver Middlebury College Commencement address May 25.
Photo credit: Middlebury College
Every spring TIME Magazine compiles a list of the 100 Most Influential People In The World. It should come as no surprise that year after year the list includes Phi Beta Kappa members, and this year several more members are among the authors of honoree profiles.
This year’s featured members are:
Jeff Bezos, ΦBK, Princeton University, 1986, founder and CEO of Amazon.com (photo credit: Jonas Fredwall Karlsson, exclusively for Vanity Fair)
Diane Paulus, ΦBK, Radcliffe College, 1988, theater and opera director (photo credit: Scott M. Lacey Photography)
Tom Steyer, ΦBK, Yale University, 1978, hedge fund manager and environmentalist (photo credit: Jason Madara for TIME)
Kerry Washington, ΦBK The George Washington University, 1998, actress (photo credit: Horst Diekgerdes—Trunk Archive)
Janet Yellen, ΦBK, Brown University, 1966, economist and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (photo credit: TIME.com)
Congratulations to those chosen, and to all our members for building our prestigious community.
See the complete TIME Magazine 100 Most Influential People In The World list here.
It’s hard to imagine anything that’s been photographed more than the Eiffel Tower. Since it opened in 1889, the elegant structure has long been an iconic symbol of Paris, a destination for those visiting the city, a site impossible to ignore. For many, the sleek tower—effortlessly gliding skyward, spectacular at night—is a physical manifestation of love and romance. But it’s not as if the structure was always without its critics.
As the Erie Railway grew, so did the amount of data it had to wrangle: which superintendents were responsible for which set of tracks; schedule changes; who the various conductors, laborers and brakemen worked under.
As Caitlin Rosenthal writes over at McKinsey Quarterly, if any one data point was mismanaged it could bring dire results: “One delayed train, for example, could disrupt the progress of many others. And the stakes were high: with engines pulling cars in both directions along a single set of rails, schedule changes risked the deadly crashes that plagued 19th-century railroads.”
"Stay off gobbledygook language."
Seventy years ago, there just wasn’t a suitable term for those brain-scalding, rage-inducing concoctions of grammar and syntax masquerading as language. Well, Mr. Maury Maverick came up with one:
Here is his memorandum to the staff of the federal agency he headed, the Smaller War Plants Corporation; the first known usage of this faintly exotic, yet viciously accurate, addition to the English language.
Memorandum from Maury Maverick to Everybody in Smaller War Plants Corporation. 3/24/1944
From the series: Field Letters and Memoranda, 1943 - 1945. Records of the Smaller War Plants Corporation, 1940 - 1948
(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)
These days Mr. Maverick would just be seen as a rather outspoken proponent of what we in the government call “plain language.”
Maybe you call it “jargon,” ”legalese,” or ”doublespeak” — what’s your favorite term for “Gobbledygook”?
Even Phi Beta Kappa filled out a bracket. We selected the school with the oldest PBK chapter in each heat to progress to the next round. Check out our bracket and tell us your bracketology method in the comments.
Join our ESPN group “Phi Beta Basketball” and fill out up to 10 brackets for a chance to win.